“A hundred bucks for a comic book? Who drew it, Michaelmelangelo?” – Homer Simpson

I’m in a better mood than I was last time. We’ll start there. You don’t have to worry about this post getting dark. Or at least I don’t think you do. I haven’t actually written it yet. But I have no intention of doing that.

Don’t get me wrong. We’ve got a LONG way to go, and things aren’t just magically fine now that Biden is in office. But my spirits were raised a little bit seeing that nobody tried to shoot him or anything like that. I’m glad I was wrong about there being greater unrest leading to inauguration day. And I liked Bernie’s mittens as much as the rest of you, too. So I’m in a better place writing this post.

Unfortunately, it’s also 3 a.m. and I wish I were in an EVEN BETTER place (bed), but unfortunately I’ve been having trouble winding down at night, even when I’m exhausted. Just a bad sleep cycle…so here I am, writing on the thing… And now that I’m three paragraphs deep I’ve decided I’m now going to make this an everything/nothing post and just post the random, numbered thoughts like I often do…so by the time you’re reading this I will have put a Simpson’s quote in the title and so on… Let’s get to it.

  1. My car sucks. It was draining the battery regularly, which I thought meant the alternator was going bad, but fortunately it seems to have been just a bad battery. But I also have to renew the stickers on my plates (I don’t know if every state has that, but every 1-2 years depending on what you pay for, you have to pay to get new stickers to put on your plate that tell the cops that you paid for those stickers and absolutely nothing fucking else). In order to do that, I have to pass an emissions test (which I *KNOW* they don’t do in every state…basically it’s a test to see if your car is polluting the air too much).
    That should be a simple thing to get done, but because my car sat with a dead battery in it, the monitors in the car’s computer went offline and I’m having trouble getting them back online. I’ve been driving around for like a week and a half, and they just won’t wake up…so that’s an issue. I’m supposed to have that done by the end of the month, but I’m having my doubts. And also the car is leaking something in a very slow leak that they can’t find at the shop, but that is staining the shit out of my driveway…
    So basically, I’ve been cooped up in my house for almost a year and in the past week and a half I’ve seen the guy who owns the shop I’m taking it to more than I’ve seen my dad in the last 12 months. If someone stole the damn thing (the car–not my dad) I’d add them to my Christmas card list at this point. (But if that somehow happens, please know that I am not actually asking anybody to do it, dear snooping insurance reps. I promise it’s a coincidence.)
  2. Being stuck at home these past 10 or so months, there are a lot of things I haven’t missed like traffic, getting up to shower and prep for going to the office, dealing with people, being locked in to a schedule, going to places with big crowds and so on… I’m an introvert, and I get frustrated by being around too many people too often. Of course there are the select handful that I’ve missed a lot…but I don’t mind not having to deal with a crowd of people swarming outside a store I’m trying to go inside or stuff like that. But in the last week, I’ve really been missing those stores. I miss book stores and record stores and guitar stores and lots of places like that. Even kinda just going to the grocery store (I’ve been having my groceries delivered). I miss doing stuff like that and taking something I liked and wanted home the same day I decided to buy it instead of having to wait on the mail.
  3. And the mail has been awful lately, hasn’t it? Donald Trump intentionally fucked up the mail and we’re all still suffering for it. It’s been hard to keep reminding myself that my packages stuck in the Northeast aren’t there through any fault of the post office. I’m sure everybody’s experienced that to some extent. I’ve just still got stuff outstanding since before Christmas. It’s insane.
  4. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about working from home in the last year has been that I’ve gotten to cook more. Mostly things with chicken or beef. I haven’t gotten too fancy. Haven’t even made any of the soups that are perfectly designed for this situation in a slow cooked (or Instant Pot, if you will). But I’ve been enjoying putting the oven and frying pans to work.
  5. I’ve written here about my diet in the past couple years. Still doing okay. My food choices aren’t always the healthiest, but I’m making choices that are basically sustaining my weight and I’m not gaining a ton. I’m still completely not snacking. Still no caffeine. Still small portions. I’m keeping it around 150-155 for the most part. That’s still *slightly* above the right weight for my height, but compared to the 100-pounds heavier I was in 2019, it’s great. Just a little bit of a gut. It’s manageable and I’m certain I could drop the remaining weight. It’s just been difficult to eat healthy during the pandemic, when I’m having my groceries delivered. So many of those shoppers are teenagers who have not lived alone long enough to know how to choose a good vegetable from a bad one. So I’ve had to choose stuff that’s foolproof to just keep myself eating. If I were doing my own shopping I’d be a touch lighter. But I don’t feel fat or embarrassed about where I am now. It’s nice to feel that way.
  6. I’ve been watching a lot of 90s comic-book type cartoons like Batman The Animated Series and Batman Beyond and Justice League. Having a good time with it and it makes me miss reading comics. But I don’t think I’m going to go back to collecting issues…maybe just the odd trade. I like the fulfillment of having the whole story in one book rather than having to try to remember what the hell was happening a month ago every time I pick up my pull and hold list. Regardless, I’ve enjoyed walking around in those shows. I apparently missed a LOT of episodes of everything, even though I’d thought I saw most of it!
  7. Still doing the podcast. Listen to it. That’s where I talk about all the music and stuff I used to write about here.

I took some Benadryl a little bit ago and I think it’s kicking in, so I’m going to try going to sleep again. I’m going to try to write here more often in 2021. But I think I also said that in 2020. So we’ll see.

TTFN.

————

Current Listening:

  • John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth compilation
  • Sloan – The Double Cross
  • Paul McCartney – McCartney III

Gloom.

I am writing this assuming you are sane. I am writing this assuming you have compassion. I am writing this assuming you have basic respect. I am writing this not knowing if you are a Democrat, a Republican, or otherwise. But I am writing this assuming you are one of the majority of this country who are normal people, who do not believe your voice is being silenced just because there are not facts to support you. I am writing this assuming you believe facts, even when they don’t match up with how you WISH things were.

So.

Like most of you, I’m furious. Like most of you, I have no faith that the system will handle things correctly–that it will instead once again inspect itself, find no errors and then crash again. Like most of you, I have been having trouble sleeping because the news cycle has infected my brain to the point that I lay there just thinking, occasionally twitching, and trying not to either scream or cry. And like most of you, I’m unsure if that’s even a metaphor at this point.

Boy it’s really a bummer that after two paragraphs, I could genuinely be talking about ANYTHING from the past four years, isn’t it?

Of course what is on my mind is the act of outright treason and terrorism we saw committed in the Senate Chamber on 1/6/21, as MAGA extremists stormed the building, brought a halt to proceedings, destroyed, defaced, defecated upon, and when all else failed STOLE property; who at one point held an armed standoff with security in the chamber; who endangered the lives of not only every sitting politician there but also every staffer, every worker, every janitor, and every other citizen both of sound or unsound mind; whose actions eventually resulted in the deaths of five people including a police officer (Blue Lives Matter, huh?), culminating in making a mockery of our government, our country, our national identity, and all the while showing their true colors–not red nor blue…just white…hooded-sheet white. (Very long sentence, just there…)

It’ll be in history books in ten years, if we still have a country then. Because that was an open act of war. We’re in the second civil war. It just doesn’t look how we imagined it would. It’s a little quieter, a LOT stupider, and fronted by a failed TV host rather than a general. But don’t make the mistake of thinking it isn’t a war. You just aren’t likely to be asked to pick up a gun…and if you are, you shouldn’t fucking do it. You might think I’m being over dramatic, but I’m not. This is what it’s like to be a citizen in a country at war with itself. You just haven’t been forced onto one side or the other yet. No one’s coming for you…yet. But we’re very, very far down that road. And Biden’s inauguration won’t stop it. I don’t know what will.

One of the great horrors of what happened on Wednesday is that so many people think it was just a show, or that it was localized so it doesn’t affect them. I’m not even talking about the motherfuckers (with all due apologies to good, decent people who actually fuck their mothers) who are lying about it actually being perpetrated by “Antifa” (which stands for Anti-Fascist, let’s not forget). I’m talking about basic, sane citizens. “It’s awful what happened at the capitol but at least it was contained and it’s over now.” No. It’s going to happen again. There are, of course, widespread rumors that there is a plan for it to happen again on inauguration day. But if not then…then sometime, somewhere, it’ll happen again. And it might not be a government building, or it might be a LOCAL government building…and more people will die.

And that’s another thing…

Armed terrorists–because that’s what they are–forced their way into a building and held it captive, with those inside having to shelter in place and hide, fearing for their lives. That happened. PEOPLE were under threat from domestic terrorists (aka–white assholes). Yes, they were politicians. Yes, many of them are soulless. Yes, there are many I don’t like–some I outright loathe… But those politicians are human beings, nevertheless. Even the ones who have lost touch with their humanity. Even the ones who STARTED this–who probably would’ve been put on a pedestal if they’d been found…and if someone hadn’t stolen the pedestal.

But there were people there with zip-ties, roaming the chamber and hallways. You…you know why violent people carry those right? You’ve seen movies? You’ve known someone who’s been raped or kidnapped or robbed or beaten?

Because I have.

You KNOW what that was. You KNOW the intent. Don’t lie about it.

You also KNOW that the only disappointment any of the terrorists from the images we’ve all seen have is that they didn’t get the chance to go what they think was “far enough.” You know that. You need to admit it to yourself. If they had been able to beat, lynch, rape, or behead Nancy Pelosi, they would’ve done it and proudly livestreamed it. YOU KNOW THAT. You fucking know it.

Nevertheless, five human beings–some of them ones with whom I staunchly disagree–died on Wednesday/Thursday as a result of what happened. More were “supposed” to in the minds of those whose names we now know, several of whom have still not been arrested. There can be no doubt of that. These monsters wanted blood. And we all tweeted about it and made fun of it because one guy (on mushrooms?) was dressed like a bull. And another guy accidentally shocked himself in the balls until he died (Google it). And another woman was trampled to death even though she was literally carrying a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. (No, really.) We heard it and we laughed because it seemed just far enough away and just insane enough to be comical. People died. We laughed. Shame on us. Although I do understand that for some of us, laughter is a defense mechanism… I know I was trying desperately to find anything to laugh about and largely failing.

I’ve been ashamed to be an American for a long time. At least since the George W. Bush years, as is well-documented on this very blog. But now I see that there aren’t Americans left–there’s just different piles of selfish bastards. So I feel better about that. After all, I’m not ashamed that I’m not a dinosaur. You can’t mourn what no longer exists…what you’ve never seen…

I don’t have a paragraph coming where I turn this post around, if that’s what you’re waiting for. There is no “but…” coming. America is dead. We are Weekend at Bernie’s-ing the next administration, but ultimately we’re just schlepping around a corpse made of our own failure for a dumb joke. There’s not an upside. There’s not a “but here’s how we turn it around.” There’s not a sequel…which…for some reason there WAS for Weekend at Bernie’s…which…sucks…

Basically… While I think deep down, human beings are essentially good… Something happens when we organize. We organize, we lose our humanity, and we bring about hell. Then we get what we fucking deserve.

It’s not over. This wasn’t a one-time thing. It’s going to happen again–probably this month–and it’s going to get worse. And we all ALLOWED it to get this way. We let go of our humanity–especially those of us who didn’t see the warning signs under Dubya and kept voting for the Republicans for the next 20 years…and we got Donald Trump. We got what we fucking deserved.

If I WERE to turn this thing around it’d be a paragraph roundabout here saying, “So hold on to your humanity and what’s good about yourself and make a difference in your own circle blahblahblahFART…” But it hasn’t worked so far, has it? You’re a good person, right? And so am I. And yet…here we are… We’re still going to be good because that’s who we ARE…and we’re still going to see these same fucking headlines, having been able to prevent NONE of them. (But seriously STOP VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS.)

And by the way, there’s still a pandemic most people seem to be ignoring. And there’s that whole “racism” thing… It’s a mess all around…

So…I don’t have answers. I have anger and fear and hopelessness…and acceptance that it’s just this bad and there’s nothing I can do to change it. Even if we all started responding to one another with kindness today, we’d all be suspicious of it and wonder what the secret agenda might be–even if we all KNEW the agenda was to make the world a nicer place!

We are–and I cannot stress this enough–fucked.

I’ll still be kind and so will you…and it won’t change a goddamned thing. But we’ll do it. You can find hope in that if you want to…and I’ll see you at the next headline.

Anyway, I’m nearly done producing two new solo albums about girls I used to like and other bullshit like that, so look for those soon.